Hong Kong 2003
Go to
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Recreation, Sport and the Arts
Home   Print this Page


Hong Kong Museum of Art

The Hong Kong Museum of Art focuses on local and Chinese art collections, including Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese antiquities, historical paintings and contemporary art. In order to enhance the public's interest and knowledge in the arts of the world, the museum presented a variety of thematic exhibitions, covering ancient and modern works as well as Chinese and Western themes.

In 2003, the museum staged 12 exhibitions, comprising seven special exhibitions and five permanent ones. Three of the major special exhibitions were presented jointly by the museum with renowned Chinese and overseas museums, featuring art objects and cultural relics from the Mainland and overseas. The Private Life of An Old Red Army Man, jointly organised with the Shenzhen Sculpture House, was a 'social sculpture' exhibition rarely seen in Hong Kong. Through a display of old photographs and personal manuscripts of an 'old Red Army man', the exhibition intended to reinterpret the revolution of 20th century China.

The Selection from the Guoyun Lou Collection of the Shanghai Museum exhibition was another successful collaboration with the Shanghai Museum. It featured a rich collection of Chinese paintings and calligraphic works by well-known ancient masters from the collection of Gu Wenbin, an acclaimed scholar, connoisseur and owner of the Guoyun Lou, and his eminent Gu family in Suzhou. Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection, a thematic exhibition jointly organised with an American museum, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, displayed paintings and sculptures that reflected the uniqueness of the arts of the Indian subcontinent and Tibet.

Other special exhibitions were presented to cover noted local artists. Hong Kong Cityscapes — Ink Painting in Transition, a rerun of an exhibition held during the Hong Kong Festival in London, provided an overview of ink painting and its evolution in Hong Kong in recent decades. Sun Xingge: An Exhibition of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, featuring a new museum collection generously donated by the family of Sun, reflected the unique artistic accomplishments of this well-known Guangdong painter who settled in Hong Kong in the early years. Hong Kong Art Biennial 2003, a region-wide event, featured works by local artists selected from over a thousand entries. The exhibition, covering a wide range of media, fully illustrated the recent development of contemporary Hong Kong art and the creativity of local artists. Also on display was Navigating the Dot — Collective in Progress, a new version of the Hong Kong exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennale.

In order to enrich people's knowledge of its collections, the museum updated its permanent exhibitions with new exhibits from time to time. The Chinese Antiquities Gallery featured a new exhibition The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving, which cast light on the artefacts of the Ming and Qing dynasties in the Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong exhibition series. For Chinese painting and calligraphy, Selection of 20th Century Chinese Figure Paintings from the Museum's Collection showed the faces of people in the new era as seen by Chinese artists in the past century. The Xubaizhai Gallery also featured Selection from the Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Calligraphy with a fine selection of over 50 works of calligraphy from the 'Six Dynasties' period to the 20th century.

To enhance the public's interest in art, the museum also organised a wide range of education and extension programmes, including video shows, special lectures, family programmes, art workshops and guided tours. During the year, the museum took part in various major art extension programmes such as the International Museum Day and the 'School Culture Day'. Moreover, the museum liased with 26 different art organisations, groups, tertiary institutions and galleries and presented over 20 fringe exhibitions and programmes for the Hong Kong Art Biennial 2003.

The exhibitions, together with various education and extension programmes, attracted over 207 000 visitors and participants during the year.

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware

The collection of this museum comprises various kinds of teaware and related vessels from the collection of the late Dr K.S. Lo and rare Chinese ceramics and seals donated by the K.S. Lo Foundation. Two special exhibitions were held in 2003: Far Beyond Teapots featured various vessels for tea and wine, of periods ranging from the Neolithic period to the 20th century; Yuanyang: An Exhibition of Coffee and Tea Vessels illustrated items of coffee and tea vessels tailor-made by noted Hong Kong artists to associate with the theme yuanyang (a mixture of milk tea and coffee).

The museum organised a variety of educational activities, such as demonstrations of Chinese tea drinking, tea gatherings for parents and children, tea gatherings with instrumental music, tea classes and video shows. During the year, over 182 000 visitors were entertained.

Hong Kong Museum of History

Throughout the year, in addition to The Hong Kong Story permanent exhibition, the Museum of History presented four thematic exhibitions: namely A Tribute to Heritage: Discovering Hong Kong's Culture and Tradition, 75 Years of Broadcasting in Hong Kong, We Shall Overcome: Plagues in Hong Kong, and Sun Yat-sen: from Cuiheng to Hong Kong. These exhibitions presented in detail the different facets of the history and heritage of Hong Kong. Moreover, four major thematic exhibitions were jointly presented with museums and cultural institutions from the Mainland and overseas. They were War and Peace: Treasures of the Qin and Han Dynasties; Napoleon Bonaparte: Emperor and Man; National Flag, Emblem and Anthem of the People's Republic of China; and Boundless Learning: Foreign-educated Students of Modern China. The joint presentations broadened the public's cultural horizons, and also facilitated the academic and cultural 'interflow' between Hong Kong, the Mainland and foreign countries. The museum attracted 973 231 visitors during the year.

To foster public interest in local history and cultural heritage, the museum organised diversified educational activities and extension services, like guided tours, audio-guides, lectures, workshops, demonstrations, performances, field trips, in-house video programmes, 'School Culture Day' programmes, loan of educational resources, travelling exhibitions, briefing sessions, an international symposium, seminars, a quiz competition, and an Inter-school Competition of Study Projects on Hong Kong's History and Culture. The museum and the Hong Kong Institute of Education jointly conducted the 2nd Junior Curator Training Course, which was successfully concluded with a small display assembled by the student-participants at the museum in November.

Apart from the Museum of Coastal Defence, the Museum of History also manages two other branch museums — the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum in Sham Shui Po and the Law Uk Folk Museum in Chai Wan. They attracted 37 065 and 30 977 visitors, respectively.

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

Converted from the old Lei Yue Mun Fort in Shau Kei Wan, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence comprises three main areas: Reception Building, Redoubt and Historical Trail. The permanent exhibition galleries are located in the Redoubt, and feature the standing exhibition 600 Years of Coastal Defence in Hong Kong that depicts Hong Kong's history of coastal defence from the Ming and Qing period, the British period and the Japanese invasion to the period after Hong Kong's reunification with the Mainland. Visitors may also explore the historical military relics in the Redoubt and on the Historical Trail, such as the gun batteries, the torpedo station, caponiers and magazines.

The museum presented three thematic exhibitions during the year — Cultural Relics of the Zhongshan Gun Boat, Cultural Relics of the Fireboat Alexander Grantham (jointly organised with the Fire Services Department) and Archery Traditions of Asia.

To arouse public interest in the history of Hong Kong's coastal defence, the museum organised a variety of educational activities, such as guided tours to the galleries and the Historical Trail, lectures on specific topics, family workshops, demonstrations and field trips. The museum's exhibitions and activities attracted 213 895 visitors during the year.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

'Food Culture' was the theme of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's programmes in 2003-04. A series of exhibitions and educational activities was organised, including thematic exhibitions entitled More Than Just Food — Ceramic Art Exhibition and Hong Kong's Food Culture. In the former exhibition, 12 local artists in ceramics produced appetising menus specially designed for each month of the year as well as some imaginative ware on which to serve the food. The latter exhibition reviewed the history of local food, investigated the changes that had taken place in eating establishments, and examined food packaging in Hong Kong.

Other thematic exhibitions staged during the year included Life in China Around the May Fourth Movement: Sidney D. Gamble's Photographs of China 1908-1932; Huizhou Vernacular Architecture; Alan Chan: The Art of Living; 'Woman' Wanted; Fashion Parade: Women's Wears in Changing Hong Kong; and Mapping Asia — the 18th Asian International Art Exhibition.

A total of 1 138 educational and extension activities were organised for the public such as lectures, field trips, video programmes, demonstrations, art camps for children, workshops, performances, guided tours and an international symposium. A new initiative, the MuseKids, was introduced in July to provide children from kindergarten level through to Primary 6 with opportunities to explore the history, art and culture of Hong Kong. Specially designed educational programmes would be regularly arranged for them. By year-end, 4 549 children had become members of the scheme.

The museum's exhibition programmes, together with its educational and extension activities, attracted 455 629 visitors and participants.

The Heritage Museum also manages three branch museums — Sam Tung Uk Museum, Hong Kong Railway Museum and Sheung Yiu Folk Museum. The Sam Tung Uk Museum in Tsuen Wan was originally a Hakka walled village built in 1786. It was declared a monument in 1981 and later converted into a museum for public viewing. Located in Tai Po, the Railway Museum consists of the old Tai Po Market Railway Station building, a narrow-gauge steam locomotive and various historical coaches. The station building, in Chinese style, was built in 1913 and declared a monument in 1984. The Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, situated in the Sai Kung Country Park, is housed in a Hakka village built in the late 19th century. It comprises eight domestic units, pig pens, an open courtyard and an entrance gate-tower. The village and a nearby lime kiln were gazetted as monuments in 1981.

In 2003, the Sam Tung Uk Museum, Hong Kong Railway Museum and Sheung Yiu Folk Museum attracted 154 933, 197 415 and 44 434 visitors, respectively.

Hong Kong Science Museum

On loan from a supplier in the United States, Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body was held between November 2002 and March 2003. Animatronics and interactive exhibits were used to engage visitors. A total attendance of 153 797 was registered during the exhibition period.

The exhibition Albert Einstein: Man of the Century was held in the foyer of the Science Museum between February and April. Based on original material housed in the Albert Einstein Archives, the Jewish National and University Library and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the exhibition portrayed Albert Einstein both as an outstanding scientist and as a humanitarian. The exhibition consisted of rare photographs and film footage.

The Sciencetunnel Exhibition between May and August attracted 64 870visitors. It was developed by the Max Planck Society of Germany. Featuring a 170-metre multimedia tunnel, the exhibition guided visitors through the new dimensions of modern-day research. As visitors passed through the 12 linked stations, they were able to appreciate the latest achievements and discoveries that help to explain the emergence and evolution of all kinds of things in the universe, including human life, as well as the importance of science in enhancing the well-being of humankind.

To complement the International Museum Day initiated by the International Council of Museums, the LCSD presented an International Museum Day programme in May with 'Discovering Museums' as its theme. Taking the role of event coordinator, the Science Museum worked with 20 public museums and cultural institutions to organise over 200 entertaining and educational programmes including a three-day 'Museum Panorama' held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza which attracted about 20 000 participants. The museums, offering free admission to the public during the period, received 64 200 visitors.

The exhibition SARS and Viruses was held in the foyer of the Science Museum from June 30, and was originally intended to close in September. In view of the public response, the exhibition was extended to the end of October and attracted a total of 177 976 visitors. Entirely developed and produced in-house, the exhibition aimed at educating the public on the scientific aspects of SARS as well as of viruses in general. Among the exhibits was a 3D model of a coronavirus and an infrared forehead temperature scanner.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition was presented between October and December and featured the winning entries in the 2001 and 2002 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions organised by the Natural History Museum of the United Kingdom. Combining artistic perspective, technical expertise and the natural beauty of animals across the spectrum of deserts, mountains, forests and oceans, the 200 images portrayed the harmony of nature and conveyed the message of environmental protection.

To commemorate China's first successful manned space flight in mid-October, the Exhibition on China's First Manned Space Mission was held from November 1 to November 4 in the Special Exhibition Hall. Among the exhibits was the re-entry module of the Shenzhou-5 spaceship that carried Colonel Yang Liwei into space on October 15 and the spacesuit he wore during his epic mission. The exhibition attracted more than 103 000 visitors during the continuous 76-hour exhibition period.

In late December, the museum began a three-month follow-up exhibition entitled China's First Manned Space Mission Exhibition II — Gifts for Hong Kong to display the items presented by the Space Mission Delegation that visited Hong Kong, including the training suit donated by Colonel Yang and two large satellite images covering the Hong Kong SAR and the Pearl River Delta. The exhibition also featured memorabilia produced for earlier aerospace exhibitions held in the museum.

From October to December, the museum joined hands with the Hong Kong Observatory to organise a series of six lectures presented by distinguished meteorologists from the United States, the Mainland and Hong Kong. The series, introducing meteorological topics of public concern like El Nino, typhoons and climate change, attracted a total audience of 1 380 people.

With the aim of introducing to the public scientific research projects currently conducted in local universities and disseminating knowledge of 'frontier' technology, the Science News Corner staged three thematic exhibitions in 2003: Automatic Face Image and Sketch Recognition, Fruit Fly — Drosophila and Extremes of the Universe. The exhibitions, jointly developed by the universities and the museum, represented a valuable collaboration between researchers and museum professionals in promoting science. The exhibition will be renewed regularly to keep abreast of scientific advancement and technological breakthroughs.

As in the previous year, the LCSD's 'Teacher Museum Pass' Scheme served to encourage teachers to visit museums and make use of museum resources to support their work. The museum, serving as coordinator of the scheme, arranged orientation visits for teachers and processed applications for around 2 000 schools.

The museum continued to work with educational institutions and professional bodies on a number of special projects to promote science. Popular examples were the Fun Science Competition in February, the Symposium on Environmental Issues for Schools and 6th Primary Science Project Competition in July, the 36th Joint School Science Exhibition in August, and the Joint Schools Robotic Olympiad in November.

The museum's exhibitions and extension activities attracted more than 870 000 visitors and participants during the year.

Hong Kong Space Museum

The Hong Kong Space Museum is dedicated to promoting astronomy and space science to the public. During the year, the museum strengthened its astronomical observation activities. A special occasion was the week from August 27 when the planet Mars was at its closest to the Earth in60 000 years. The museum remained open until late at night to enable members of the public to view the planet through astronomical telescopes. More than 5 000 people took advantage of the opportunity.

In addition, the museum and the Hong Kong Astronomical Society jointly organised a Sidewalk Astronomy session for the public at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in October. In this activity, about 50 astronomical telescopes were set up for use by interested passers-by, and more than 1 500 people took advantage of the opportunity to observe celestial objects.

To mark China's first manned space flight in October, the museum organised a number of activities including exhibitions, display of a model of the Shenzhou spacecraft and workshops. Related educational materials were also produced.

During the year, the museum published the Astrocalendar 2004. The museum's two Sky Shows, four Omnimax films, and six School Shows attracted some 290 100 people. The museum also organised 190 extension activities that had over 40 700 participants. Fourteen temporary special exhibitions, together with the permanent exhibits in the Hall of Astronomy and in the Hall of Space Science, attracted more than 317 700 visitors.

Hong Kong Film Archive

The Hong Kong Film Archive's major functions are to acquire, preserve, catalogue and document Hong Kong films and related materials. With a gross floor area of 7 200 square metres, its major facilities include a cinema, an exhibition hall, a resource centre and a number of temperature-controlled collection stores. It has already acquired more than 5 600 films and 994 000 items of related materials, mainly through donations and deposits.

During the year, nine thematic exhibitions such as the Shaws Galaxy of Stars, The Psychic Labyrinth of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, In the Footsteps of Lai Man-wai, and Attraction and Magic — Early European Cinema were organised and more than 460 screenings were held at the Film Archive. To complement the exhibitions and screening activities, the Film Archive also held a number of joint projects with local educational and cultural institutions in organising seminars and workshops for film students, researchers and the public. In research on the history of Hong Kong cinema, the Film Archive conducted oral history interviews with film veterans and produced a number of film-related publications.

The resource centre, equipped with computers, independent video booths and a rich collection of film-related reading materials, was well patronised by the public, attracting a daily average of 156 users. Overall, the Film Archive attracted more than 160 000 visitors during the year.

Art Promotion Office

The Art Promotion Office aims to promote local visual arts through wide-ranging activities focusing on public and community art. The office places importance on undertaking projects with different partners, which helps to further enhance art appreciation and participation among members of the public.

The Public Art Scheme 2002 was completed during the year with selected artworks installed in four public libraries and two town halls. The Gallery Ferry Project was jointly organised with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, New World First Ferry Services Ltd and New World First Bus Services Ltd. In this project, three installation works and 20 two-dimensional works were displayed on board three ferries and at Pier 5 in Central from May until year-end.

The second 'Artists in the Neighbourhood' Scheme was another partnership project. In 2003, works of 12 artists and one art group were displayed at different LCSD venues, MTR stations, hospitals and shopping malls. Because of the success of the 'Art · Care' project in 2002, the office launched another community art project entitled A New Beginning/A New Day with the local arts organisation Art in Hospital, to sustain the efforts in introducing visual arts to hospitals.

Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre

The Art Promotion Office is also responsible for the management of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. Nine art studios, a lecture theatre, an exhibition hall and a multi-purpose room were open for public hiring at subsidised rates. The centre focuses on providing professional hiring facilities and training in the visual arts and promoting them. The second Art Specialist Course, which covered five disciplines — ceramics, printmaking, painting, sculpture and ink painting — was specially designed for general art lovers who would wish to pursue structured professional art training. The course began in October 2002 and lasted nine months. A graduation exhibition was held in the centre in October to celebrate the graduation of 62 participants by displaying artworks they created during the course.

Central Conservation Section

The Central Conservation Section devises, implements and evaluates conservation programmes for museum artefacts and heritage objects. In 2003, the section administered conservation treatment to 2 633 cultural objects including paintings, paper artefacts, textiles, photographs, metals, ceramics, organic materials and archaeological finds. It continued to provide the necessary technical support for 79 thematic exhibitions and the management of some 200 000 collection items pertaining to 12 public museums, the Art Promotion Office, and assisted in the preservation of repository items for the Antiquities and Monuments Office.

As an essential part of its education and extension programmes, the section received five schools for behind-the-scene laboratory visits under the 'School Culture Day' Scheme and organised 14 workshops and guided tours for the International Museum Day. Adding together other lecture programmes and laboratory visits, the section received over 5 000 visitors during the year.

With a view to preserving the fireboat Alexander Grantham upon its decommissioning after 50 years of service and mounting it for public viewing, the section has been engaged in the necessary project planning and conservation work for the vessel and its more than 500 relics.

To follow on from the success of the first phase of staging cultural displays at the Hong Kong International Airport, the section undertook to organise another standing exhibition there, in cooperation with the Airport Authority, for the enjoyment of travellers and people working at the airport. Entitled Formal Dialogue — Sculptures by Hong Kong Masters the exhibition began in April and featured 28 acclaimed works by two local master sculptors.

Yearbook archives: 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997
back to top
back to top